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Updated on: Sunday, October 31, 2021, 10:42 PM IST

Minor children of deceased entitled to compensation under parental consortium: Bombay High Court

The company argued that the compensation under the head of the consortium could be only given to a spouse and not the children
Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image

Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image

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The HC has ordered an insurance company to pay parental loss compensation of Rs 40,000 each to two minors, who lost their father, a BMC employee, in a road accident.

"Just like for a spouse, even children of a deceased person are entitled to compensation under the head of the parental consortium when one of their parents dies a pre-mature death in an accident," said the Bombay High Court recently.

A bench of Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing a plea filed by an insurance company challenging the decision of the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal, Mumbai Bench, that had ordered the firm to cough up over Rs 75 lakhs to the widow and two minor sons a BMC employee, who died in a road accident in March 2013.

The insurance company had contended that the tribunal erred in calculating the compensation. It argued that the compensation under the head of the consortium could be only given to a spouse and not the children, and thus it was wrong on part of the deceased's wife to seek compensation under parental consortium for her sons.

Disagreeing with the company's argument, Justice Dangre said, "I am of the considered view that the minor children of the deceased are also entitled to the parental consortium, as at a young age they have lost their father."

"In any case, since the term ‘consortium’ which has understood as a love, solace, care, help provided to a member of the family on account of his loss," the bench said, adding, "In case of a spouse, it may include maintenance of the sexual relationship, but as far as the parental consortium is concerned, a child who has been put to tremendous loss on account of pre-mature death of his/her parent and resulting who has lost the protection, affection, discipline, guidance, and training of the parent is similarly entitled to a consortium which a spouse is entitled."

"In the wake of this position of law, the impugned judgment of the tribunal deserves to be upheld but it calls for a modification, by directing the insurance company to compensate the children by paying consortium of Rs.40,000 each," Justice Dangre held.

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Published on: Sunday, October 31, 2021, 10:42 PM IST
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